Arts Desk

Five Books I’d Read

in which the author discusses five books he'd read, if time permitted.

1. Go the Fuck to Sleep, by Adam Mansbach.
Being a parent is hard. Sometimes, you and your kid get invited to a rooftop barbecue at a 20-something's posh condo only to find that the only way to get to the rooftop is to drag your Maclaren stroller up like two flights of concrete stairs, at the top of which you learn that the rooftop is a blazing 105 degrees and offers no shade for your hatless daughter who is already starting to whine even though she's had like five to 10 Baby Mum-Mums in the past 30 minutes. Other times, your child gets a melancholy look in her eye and you say, "What's wrong?" and she says "Daddy, where do we go when we die?"

2. The Red Market: On the Trail of the World's Organ Brokers, Bone Thieves, Blood Farmers, and Child Traffickers, by Scott Carney.
Blood. Bones. Hearts. Kidneys. Livers. Child traffickers. White babies for sale. They've really covered my favorite SEO terms with this title.

3. The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick Dewitt.
This book seems like No Country for Old Men if that movie was also a novel.

4. The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry, by Jon Ronson.
Being declared a psychopath by a potentially suspect pseudo-psychological test is way worse than getting an undeserved parking ticket on the 3300 block of 16th St. NW, a street reknowned for its ambiguous signage.

5. Damselflies of Texas: A Field Guide, by John C. Abbott.
I'm very sorry that John C. Abbott stole the evocative title Damselflies of Texas—the same title I'd given my 900-page novel about love and love lost in Santa Clarita, a fictional, hot, dusty border town where men are men and women are ready for fight for what they believe in—for an actual book about damselflies.

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